Identification Section

Crime Scene Specialist examines evidence

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What we do

The ID Section is responsible for arrest fingerprint processing and forensic crime scene investigation. It supports Arizona's AFIS (Automated Fingerprint Identification System) and mugshot system. ID Section personnel teach at SALETC (Southern Arizona Law Enforcement Training Center) and handle most public relations photography for the department. Staff and volunteers fingerprint around 6,000 people a year for identification, job requirements, licensing, and teaching certificates.

Crime Scene Unit

CSU handles serious, complex crime scenes and consists of six squads, with a total authorized strength of 12 Crime Scene Specialists and 6 Crime Scene Specialist Supervisors. Two Specialists are trained to create composite sketches. Others are trained to document crime scenes with drones and laser scanner technology.

CSU responds to and photographs approximately 3,500 crime scenes each year, collecting and processing latent fingerprints and other forensic evidence. It also fingerprints around 2,000 arrestees a year.


The AFIS Unit processes all arrests made by the department, with a total authorized strength of 6 AFIS Technicians and 1 Supervisor. They match arrestees' fingerprints to records on file and enter fingerprints into AFIS.

They make sure that arrest charges and codes are correct. Once a person's identity is confirmed, arrest information is sent to the department's Records Management System, the state mugshot system, the Arizona Department of Public Safety, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The AFIS Unit processes over 18,000 arrest records each year.

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Photo gallery

  • FingerprintsA fingerprint on a glass is visible after being dusted by a CSU technician
  •  DNA CSU technician swabs a cup for DNA
  • Crime Scene PhotographyCSU technician photographs tire tracks at the crime scene
  • Evidence PhotographyCSU technician photographs evidence
  • Tire Tread ForensicsCSU technician analyses tire tread tracks
  • Trace EvidenceCSU technician examines trace evidence